The Bartonville (TX) Police Department is a four-person agency protecting a population of about 1,600 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The department has been using Lexipol since 2015.
Chief Corry Blount has gone from one extreme to another in his law enforcement career, serving in a medium-sized agency (Highland Village, Texas) with 45 employees through the ranks to Captain; moving to a division commander position in a very large agency (Denton County Sheriff’s Office) employing over 600 sworn and non-sworn employees; and, most recently, landing in a relatively new, four person agency as the Chief of Police in Bartonville, Texas.
But as he moved through these different environments, one thing stayed the same: the need for an easy-to-use, comprehensive policy management solution.
At Denton County, Chief Blount faced a challenge common in larger agencies: the inability to quickly verify that officers had read policies and policy updates. “We used sign-off sheets for acknowledgement, and you were always chasing people around to make sure everyone signs off on them,” he says. Like many law enforcement agencies, “Denton County was still using methods from 20 years ago: big paper manuals on bookshelves, giant books with sign-off sheets or email acknowledgements.” When Chief Blount came to the Bartonville Police Department (BPD), the challenge changed. With only three officers and himself, verifying policy acknowledgement wasn’t difficult. But the agency lacked comprehensive policies. As a small agency, there was rarely time to devote to developing policies or keeping them up to date.
Chief Blount had used Lexipol at Denton County, and when he came to the BPD, he moved quickly to bring his new department on as well, subscribing to Lexipol’s Texas Law Enforcement Policies and Training solution.
“One of the things I’ve tried to do, coming from a bigger place, is to bring those thought processes and policies,” he says. “Because big or small, we tend to operate the same way. Our jobs are the same; we are governed by the same laws and regulations.”
The process of adopting new policies often moves faster in small agencies, where fewer people need to review the content and there is less complexity in personnel structure. But Chief Blount stresses that the editing features within Lexipol’s Knowledge Management System (KMS) make customizing the policies easy for agencies big and small.
“I like that I can change things on the fly,” Chief Blount says. As Denton County was moving through the Lexipol implementation process, he would often call together decision-makers to review the policy content, making edits in real time. He notes that KMS allows agencies to structure their manual in a way that makes sense for them—something he took advantage of at the BPD. “I split mine into smaller sections, so I have a lot more chapters,” he says. “I think it’s easier to find what you’re looking for that way. KMS has a lot of good features that make it easy to locate what you’re looking for.”
In both Denton County and the BPD, Lexipol has helped Chief Blount run his department more efficiently. Features like electronic policy issuance and acknowledgment reports allow supervisors to quickly identify officers needing remediation. “I really like the electronic signatures and being able to issue the policies electronically,” he says. “It’s really easy to use, and in a big place, it’s great that supervisors can see who’s signed and who hasn’t.”
Chief Blount emphasizes the benefit of the Lexipol system is in how it combines such features with policy content that he trusts. “It’s the most comprehensive policy content I’ve used in my career, and it’s been researched and reviewed by Lexipol’s lawyers,” he says. “A lot of that content you wouldn’t have in a small agency policy manual because you just don’t have the staff to sit down and develop it.”
And because Lexipol issues policy updates as needed, Chief Blount has also gained peace of mind. “Old policy manuals get stagnant, and you get into the situation where something is wrong in the manual. Mistakes can be made that have detrimental effects. Lexipol eliminates that,” he says. “And I don’t have to keep track of the legislature—Lexipol does all that. I feel comfortable that when we issue a policy, it covers what it needs to cover.”
Editor’s note: Since the time of this writing, Chief Blount accepted a position as Chief of Police for the Lake Worth (TX) Police Department, which recently became a Lexipol customer.